Digital PR & Outreach

When to execute outreach

by on 26th September 2019

We’ve come to the final post in our outreach series. For the full journey, download our Complete guide to outreach.

It’s no good doing all the prep work we’ve mentioned in previous posts if your email ends up getting buried in your recipient’s inbox because it’s poorly timed. Although there is no sure-fire way of being noticed from the get-go, there are a few things that you can take into consideration that can maximise your chances.

Time and day

1. Time of day

Think about your own working day and how you prioritise tasks. Of course, this will differ from person-to-person, but I would hazard a guess that most of us catch up on emails or calendars either earlier in the day to set priorities or at the end of the day to prepare for the next.

CoSchedule’s analysis of 14 studies, which investigated the best time to send an email, corroborates this. Its research shows that the optimum times to send emails are:

  • 10 a.m. or 8 p.m. came out on top
  • 2 p.m. is also touted as a good time to hit send—this will likely be some time after lunch, which is a good moment to check-in on your inbox
  • 6 a.m. is called out as a reasonable time to fire-out emails, too, thanks to so many of us checking our inboxes before we’ve even climbed out of bed!

Whenever you decide to strike, don’t forget to think about time differences if you’re sending emails to recipients based in different parts of the world. If time difference is something to consider, you can simply schedule your emails, which is something I’ll address a little later.

2. Day of the week

Once again, think about your own working week.

  • When are you busiest?
  • When do you assess what the week has in store and plan accordingly?
  • When do you review the week’s happenings and wrap things up?

Now, more importantly, have a think about your recipient’s working week. What days are likely to be their busiest? Well, the good news is that CoShedule’s analysis helpfully outlines the best days to send out important emails and the results are probably not too surprising.

The ideals are:

  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday

Follow-ups

Picture the scene: you’ve followed every step of the outreach process, but your content is yet to receive any recognition. This is where the power of a follow-up email can shine.

A follow-up email’s objective is to remind your recipient of your original email and ultimately elicit a reply. A follow- up doesn’t need to be in-depth or particularly personalised, but rather short and snappy.

If, since your initial contact, the content has been updated or amended in some way, then I suggest highlighting that in your follow-up as it provides further justification for chasing.

Automation

It should be clear by now that your first initial contact—your first outreach email, for example—should be tailored to its recipient. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t save yourself time by automating the delivery of those emails. Enter automation.

Email automation is a process by which emails can be sent out automatically in certain sequences or with specified criteria. Email automation is especially helpful when you’re trying to get your emails out during those optimum times across different time zones. So, how can you do it?

BuzzStream

BuzzStream enables you to set up your outreach templates and schedule them as part of a sequence with specific conditions. For example, you can set your sequence up so that your initial email is sent out on day one and follow-ups are automatically sent out after a certain number of days, which are determined by you, should you receive no response.

Email provider delays

Email providers such as Outlook or Gmail also give you options to delay the delivery of emails.

The time you’ll have saved automating the delivery of your emails means you can then spend more time crafting your personalised outreach emails and subsequently begin basking in link, coverage or social share glory. Hurrah!

Useful resources

Microsoft Delay or schedule sending email messages
Boomerang Gmail Delay Send

Content performance review

After the outreach has been executed, all that’s left to do is review how the content has performed.

At Builtvisible, we hold content performance review sessions within which we run through a series of questions to ascertain the following:

  • What worked?
  • What were the challenges?
  • What was the outreach approach?
    – Most and least successful approach, including subject line analysis
  • How was content covered, shared, etc.?
    – Look at what hooks and assets were used
  • Who out of our outreach recipients was the most receptive to content?

The key objective is to not only track success (or failure) of content, but to take content performance learnings and apply them to future content.


If you’re still with me after reading all six blog posts on Outreach then I would first like to say well done, you’ve made it! By now, you should feel equipped to execute your own outreach strategy and feel confident that your content can earn the return it deserves.

If there’s one takeaway I’d like you to carry with you it’s this:

Remember that outreach requires thought and should be a consideration from the very start of your content’s production. Without a well-planned, targeted outreach strategy, your content stands to fall, so take your time with each step and enjoy the results.

Good luck!

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